Advent Day 4

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

We picked up our Christmas tree in the rain.

We live in Minnesota.  Christmas tree choosing is usually accompanied by dancing on snow crunch in order to keep warm .

Not this year.

We await yet the muffle and wrap that is snow in this season. When snow lays on the ground the earth is gentled under a blanket of snow and we feel gentled, too; slowed by the necessary adjustments snow demands of us.

Not this year.

How are we impacted by the earth’s “presentation”?  Profoundly.

Theologian Sallie McFague speaks of the earth as God’s Body.  The earth is living breathing alive fertile and challenged by our stomping upon it.  Hurricanes and droughts and snow warp are signs of a trampling creation can sore afford.

In this season of the Word Become Flesh, how do we live as those mindfully and awe-fully embraced by God’s Body?

As we go about this soul-stretch of Advent, may we consider what it is to live on the earth as Christ-followers.  Perhaps these questions will bless us and creation:

  • What practices might we adopt in order to tread more gently on the earth?
  • Is there a way to festoon our homes and gifts without unduly straining the earth?
  • How will we find time to go outside and breathe in the gift of the “lovely, dark and deep” (Robert Frost) earth?

Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay

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